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Benched: Sports Broadcaster Kenny Albert

DETROIT – Kenny Albert was in Denver with the New York Rangers on March 11. The Rangers were playing the Avalanche that night. It was the same night NBA suspended its season.

“The team was scheduled to fly to Phoenix for a game on Saturday,” Albert said. “We wound up staying overnight and once the NBA postponed, the next day we had to wait until an NHL Board of Governors conference call. When we went to the airport at 10:30 in the morning, we still did not know where we were going to fly. Once we took off, we knew we were heading back home, and we’ve been home ever since.”

Albert is at home with his wife and two daughters in New Jersey. He said he’s enjoying this down time with his family, but he’s itching to get back to sports. He’s one of the few broadcasters who calls it all, MLB, NHL, NFL, NBA.

“You have to be really organized,” Albert said of his job. “I have crazy stretches in October. I work four different sports in 7-10-day spans.”

When does Albert think sports will return? He said he has no idea, that is up to medical professionals and league leaders. He said the scenarios being discussed are very interesting.

“There are great ideas out there, but there are still a lot that needs to be thought about before plans can be put to fruition,” he said.

Albert said having an NFL draft next Thursday will be a welcome distraction for all sports fans. I had to ask him about the Lions.

“I have worked a lot of fun games in Detroit,” he said. “The last one was this past October against Giants which the Lions won. I remember the big play was Stafford to Marvin Hall, 48-yard-touchdown. I think [the Lions] are heading in the right direction.”

In all of his years calling games, what is Albert’s favorite call? He said he can’t pick a favorite, but he can pick a memorable one.

“Jose Bautista homerun bat flip in 2015 ALDS,” Albert said. “that seventh inning took 43 minutes. There was all kinds of craziness, the fans were somewhat hostile. There were crazy rules interpretations. When Bautista hit the homer and flipped the bat, that’s a call I won’t forget.”

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